Race Recap may 2016

May Race Weekend on the Andretti “B” 4-mile course proved to be a kind of homecoming for Club Spring Mountain. As always, we were excited to see many familiar faces, but we were also excited to see some members who haven’t visited in a while: on the track was Jay Torres, Miguel Grillo, and John Melsom all in Radical SR3s. Also, Terry Carlson made his first race appearance in over 25 months, debuting his new Wolf GB08SM last weekend, racing it for the first time during Saturday’s race.

In other news, we are excited to announce the near completion of the Tiki Bar at Lake Spring Mountain. Beginning June 4th, the Tiki Bar will have food and beverages available for purchase and the lake will offer swimming, Jetpack, paddleboards, peddle boats, kayak rentals and more. Make sure to spend some time there during your stay!

Friday Bracket Race

Thirteen drivers participated in the Bracket Race on Friday afternoon. There were seven Miatas, four Radical SR3s, one Ferrari and a Wolf GB08SM. Jay Torres drove his Radical SR3 in this race making it his first time back to Spring Mountain in 14 months! Everyone drove pretty even keel during the start of the race, but two Miatas – Mark Saroyan and Lee Mixon – had to exit the race before the halfway mark. By the 7th lap, Ron Fletcher (Miata), Teddy Landau (Miata) and John Saroyan (Miata) broke out, leaving only eight cars to finish off the race. In the last lap, Dennis Russell in his Miata was forced to exit resulting in seven cars passing the finish line within their bracket times. Indy Al Miller was victorious finishing with a 4.80-time gap in front of Torres (Radical) in 2nd and Gorski (Radical) in 3rd.

Check out some of the great shots from Friday's Bracket Race!

Saturday Miata Race

Saturday’s Miata race began with ten drivers. Shortly after the green flag, driver Mark Saroyan lost a wheel just past The Drop resulting in a DNF for himself and a restart for the rest of the drivers. Nine remaining drivers continued with Jim Balestrieri on the pole. Lee Mixon, who was in 2nd, was determined to take the lead from Balestrieri early in the race running bumper to bumper during the first half. On lap 5 going side by side through Ego Check, Mixon succeeded in taking the lead from Balestrieri and Michael Lorenz made a pass at the same time around John Saroyan. Gregg Gorski then began attempts at taking 2nd from Balestrieri, but Balestrieri held him off during the entirety of the race. Mixon held on to the lead through the checkered flag followed by Balestrieri in 2nd and Gorski in 3rd.

Mixon, winner of Saturday's Miata race, must have known it was going to be a good race as he gave a confident thumbs-up before the green flag.
Miata Division: Lee Mixon 1st, Jim Balestrieri 2nd, Gregg Gorski 3rd

Sunday Miata Race

Eight drivers participated in Sunday’s Miata Race. Lee Mixon was on pole, but it didn’t take long for Jim Balestrieri to get out in front of him. However, on lap 3, Balestrieri pitted and retired from race once again giving Mixon 1st followed by Teddy Landau and Gregg Gorski. On lap 4, Landau made a pass around Gorski, then on lap 5 Gorski took 2nd back from Landau; meanwhile, Mixon established a sizeable lead. A few drivers went off during the race but made good recoveries and were able to maintain their positions. Mixon finished in 1st with a 13-second lead followed by Landau in 2nd, Gorski in 3rd, and Mark Saroyan in 4th.

#559 Gorski and #91 Landau battling for 2nd place around The Loop.
Miata Division: Lee Mixon 1st, Teddy Landau 2nd, Gregg Gorski 3rd

Saturday Light Sport Race

For Terry Carlson, Saturday’s Light Sport Race presented the first opportunity for him to take his new Wolf GB08SM out on the track and race against fellow CSM members. It was also John Melsom’s first time partaking in a CSM race weekend driving his Radical SR3. In total, thirteen drivers participated: four Wolf GB08SMs, eight Radical SR3s and one Radical SR8, making for a great Saturday morning.

Spring Mountain Driving Instructor Todd Joyce enjoys encouraging drivers before they race; above are two shots of Joyce with Carlson (L) and Melsom (R).

After the green flag, Keith Gostlin made three passes in the 1st lap moving himself into 10th position. Carlson pushed ahead of the other drivers with a sizeable lead, and Ron Eckhardt, in 2nd place, also ran several seconds ahead of 3rd place Nick Kelly for the first laps of the race. Eleven minutes in, Indy Al spun out in The Bowl while attempting to stay in front of Brandon Rambo; that move ultimately cost him two positions. On lap 5, Fletcher and Rambo in 4th and 5th went side by side into the front straight and Rambo was able to pull ahead for 4th. The race concluded with a wire-to-wire finish by Carlson with an impressive best lap time of 2:41.235. He was followed by Eckhardt in 2nd and Kelly in 3rd. Congratulations Terry on coming out of retirement and winning the race!

LSRR Division: Gregg Gorski 1st, David McConnell 2nd, John Melsom 3rd
LSR1 Division: Keith Gostlin 1st
LSR2 Division: Terry Carlson 1st, Ron Eckhardt 2nd, Nick Kelly 3rd
LSR3 Division: Ron Fletcher 1st, Indy Al Miller 2nd, Kelvin Bloom 3rd

Sunday Light Sport Race

Ten drivers came out to race in Sunday’s Light Sport Race: four Wolf GB08SMs, five Radical SR3s and one Radical SR8. Having obtained the four best times during qualifying, Terry Carlson, Nick Kelly, Ron Eckhardt and Brandon Rambo led the pack when the green flag was given. Carlson and Kelly went into Ego Check and through Kenny’s Corner side by side, followed by Eckhardt and Rambo also running alongside each other. It was a spectacle to see all four Wolf GB08s running together so fluidly, and the remarkable skill and graciousness each driver had for one another made the maneuvers even more impressive.

Continuing on, Eckhardt and Rambo exchanged positions several times within the first few laps; David McConnell and John Melsom also had it out during a few instances. Keith Gostlin diligently maneuvered his way up through the pack passing Gregg Gorski and Kelvin Bloom in laps 3 and 4 and made his way past Jay Torres in lap 8, who, up to that point, was doing exceedingly well keeping up with the Wolfs. Carlson came in 1st – 8.246 seconds ahead of 2nd place finisher Kelly. Eckhardt finished in 3rd.

After Sunday's Light Sport Race, Wolf drivers Carlson, Eckhardt and Kelly commended each other for their superb driving skills.
LSRR Division: Gregg Gorksi 1st, David McConnell 2nd, John Melsom 3rd
LSR1 Division: Keith Gostlin 1st
LSR2 Division: Terry Carlson 1st, Nick Kelly 2nd, Ron Eckhardt 3rd
LSR3 Division: Jay Torres 1st, Kelvin Bloom 2nd

Saturday Enduro

Eleven individuals competed in the Enduro Race on Saturday afternoon. Everyone ran individually aside from two teams who consisted of Nick Kelly and Brandon Rambo in their Wolf GB08s and Jim Balestrieri and Dennis Kane in their #65 Miata. There were three Miata’s, three Radical SR3s, two Lotus 211s and one Wolf GB08SM competing in the race. After the green flag was given, Grillo passed David McConnell for 3rd, and Kelly (Wolf GB08SM) pushed ahead as Jack Fried (Lotus) slowed his pace. Six minutes into the race, McConnell took 3rd back from Miguel Grillo (SR3) and Monica Carlson (Lotus) made a pass by Lee Mixon (Miata). Monica, Balestrieri and Fried were the first drivers to pit in lap 5, with Fried retiring from the race.

44 minutes in, Kelvin Bloom exited the race and Dennis Russell went off at Exit 28 doing multiple spins. Mixon, who was leading for the last four laps, spun out in Patience during the final lap resulting in a victory for McConnell with Mixon in 2nd, Grillo in 3rd, the Kelly/Rambo team in 4th, Monica in 5th, the Balestrieri/Kane team in 7th and Russell in 8th.

During Saturday's Enduro Race, every driver had to pit-in for a predetermined time. While in the pit, SM members and employees helped drivers stay hydrated and safe before they reentered the race.

Next Race Weekend

We had a great weekend of fun and racing! June Race Weekend will be held on the 18th and 19th of next month, which is a great way to spend Father’s Day weekend! The track configuration has yet to be determined, but until then, we look forward to seeing you back at the track!

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